The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced that they have finalized a comprehensive plan for a July 30th restart to the 2019-2020 season.
This comprehensive plan includes stringent health and safety protocols, a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the goal of taking collective action to combat racism and promote social justice, this according to a news release.
The NBA and Disney have reached an agreement as well that makes the Arena, the Field House and Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex the venues for all games for the remainder of the season. The season will resume with 22 teams returning to play and with no fans in attendance.
Under the competitive format for the restart, the 22 participating teams will be the eight teams in each conference with the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference.
The restart will begin with each participating team playing eight “seeding games,” as selected from its remaining regular-season match ups. The complete game and national television schedules for the seeding games will be announced tonight.
The NBA and its broadcast and technology partners are collaborating to enhance game telecasts and bring fans an immersive,interactive viewing experience.At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-season games and seeding games will be the first through seventh seeds for the NBA Playoffs for that conference.
If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage (regular-season games and seeding games) in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then the team with the eighth-best winning percentage would be the eighth playoff seed in that conference.
If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference (Team 8) is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference (Team 9), then those two teams would compete in a play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed in the conference.
The play-in tournament will be double elimination for Team 8 and single elimination for Team 9. The NBA’s standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will be used to break any ties on the basis of winning percentage. Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round.The 2020 NBA Finals will end no later than Oct. 13.